Purpose in life tied to healthier brain

May 31st, 2015 by Dr. Keith Nemec

Previously, a number of studies suggest that having a purpose in life – the sense that life has meaning and direction – may reduce a number of adverse health effects. Researchers from Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA), and colleagues studied autopsy results on 453 older adults, who participated in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. All of the participants underwent annual physical and psychological evaluations, including a standard assessment of purpose in life – where purpose in life was judged on a five-point scale (higher scores indicated a greater purpose), with the average score at 3.5. Participants were followed until they died, at an average age of 90 years.  At the study’s start, 114 subjects were affected by stroke.  At autopsy, 154 individuals had macroscopic infarctions (areas of stroke damage visible to the naked eye) and 128 had “microinfarcts” (areas of damage visible with a microscope).  The team observed that for every one-point increase in the score of purpose in life, the likelihood of having one or more macroscopic infarctions decreased by about 50%.  The study authors write that: “Purpose in life may affect risk for cerebral infarcts, specifically macroscopic lacunar infarcts.”                                  

Stroke

Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec’s comments on “Purpose in life tied to healthier brain:

What is your purpose in life? This is the million dollar question or to say it another way, this is what will determine how long your brain stays healthy.

You need to really ponder this question before you answer. Most people would answer with responses like these:

  • To be healthy
  • To be happy
  • To have a great marriage
  • To have healthy and happy children
  • To have a great job that you love
  • To be financially secure

 

All these are great answers but they still not do not answer the question: What is your purpose in life?

Westminster Catechism states the purpose of man:

  • What is the chief end of man?
  • Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
  • What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
  • The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
  • What do the scriptures principally teach?
  • The scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

Let see what Jesus says about this God designed life in you or as He calls it “eternal life”:

John 17:3-5

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. NIV

So this God designed purpose is eternal life and that come from knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. We also see according to Jesus how to glorify God- it is done by completing the mission for which you were sent here. You were not sent here for you but to do something for HIM but only done from HIS Spirit in you.

Last Jesus make it clear how you should live your life when He was asked a question:

Mark 12:28-31

“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.   Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” NIV

So Jesus made it very clear. Your purpose is to love God with every part of your being and love others as He would love them. Did you notice there is nothing in there about you?

That is why Jesus said when you seek first and foremost God’s purpose everything will be given to you or you can say it this way: when you are about the Father’s business the Spirit of God can flow unblocked in your life. You never have to think about you when you are constantly thinking about Him.

Matt 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.NIV

So to sum it all up it is very simple. You were designed to live as a son or daughter of God being about the FAMILY business. This is accomplished when your eyes are fixed on Jesus and you are constantly listening to the Holy Spirit speak to your heart through the written and spoke Word of God and obeying this Word with action steps taken by faith. Live this kind of life and you will surely have a healthy brain and a healthy body because you are not focusing on you but Him and when you get yourself out of the way the Spirit can flow unhindered in your life. The more you focus on you the more you block the Spirit of God in your life.

Not my will (I, me, my, mine) but your will be done!

 

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